Château Langoa-Barton: Ronald Barton

Tragically, in 1927 Bertram was killed in a hunting accident in Ireland, and as a result his son, Ronald Barton (died 1986), who had joined the family firm only three years before, took the reins. In order to do so the Eton-educated Ronald took up residence in Bordeaux, although there was a brief hiatus in his tenure, Barton fleeing the country during World War II. The Barton family’s properties remained largely intact, however, thanks partly to Ireland’s apparent neutrality but perhaps most of all to the efforts of the Guestier family again. It was yet another Daniel Guestier who shielded the Barton estates from the occupying forces during Ronald’s absence, much as his namesake had once done during the Napoleonic era.

Château Langoa-Barton

Writing in St Julien (Aurum Press, 1984) Bernard Ginestet enlightens us as to Ronald’s antics during this time. He left France in 1940, having been advised to do so by the British Embassy. He caught a ship carrying frozen meat from South America, in his hands a suitcase of vital possessions, his pockets stuffed with cash. Once safe in Ireland he enlisted with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers; he was appointed liaison officer with the Free French forces, and he ended up working on the staff of General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny in the Middle East and North Africa. For his service to France he was ultimately awarded the Legion d’Honneur.

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